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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/250

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THE BOOBY.

 

An ignorant man who associates with clever people has always been more praised than a wise man who keeps the company of fools; for as much profit and fame as one may gain from the former, so much wealth and honour one may lose by the fault of the latter; and as the proof of the pudding is in the eating[1], you will know from the story which I am going to tell you whether my proposition be true.

 

 

There was once a man who was as rich as the sea, but as there can never be any perfect happiness in this world, he had a son so idle and good-for-nothing that he could not tell a carob from a cucumber. So being unable any longer to put up with his folly, he gave him a good handful of crowns, and sent him to trade in the Levant; for he well knew that seeing various countries

  1. Literally, 'as the proof of the ham is in the stick,'—which a person thrusts into the meat to taste its flavour.